Being a Great Mentor and Mentee: Key Skills to Enhance the Future of Pediatric Orthopaedics Guest Editorial

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John M. (Jack) Flynn, MD


Pediatric orthopaedics, like many fields in medicine, is truly an apprenticeship. We begin our five to six years of orthopaedic surgery training as a young intern, and our best learning is done alongside (or across from) a senior surgeon, in clinic or the operating room. From books and scientific studies (and now VuMedi and Orthobullets) we gain essential knowledge and some techniques. But let’s face it, we learn how to be a practicing pediatric orthopedist from our role models and mentors in residency and fellowship. Once we accept this essential truth, there is nowhere to hide from the fact that our roles as mentors and teachers are just as important as our roles as surgeons; because we are building the legacy that will care for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Learning to be a good mentor or mentee is a lifelong pursuit. At this stage of my career, and at risk of feeling imposter syndrome, I’ll reflect on how we can pay forward the gifts we’ve been given by being better at being both a mentor and mentee.

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General Orthopedics